Slumping oil prices force Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to practice restraint
REGINA—With oil prices continuing a downward spiral, the Saskatchewan government is imposing a freeze on spending and discretionary hiring.
At just $56.47 a barrel, the price of crude has plunged 40 per cent from a year ago, and far below what industry experts had been predicting back in the spring.
Saskatchewan still has other sources of revenue, but Premier Brad Wall warned that the government is about to start cutting.
The NDP opposition says the government is simply showing poor money management skills.
NDP Leader Cam Broten says the province should have seen this oil slump coming, and put more money aside years ago.
Wall says it’s important to go into the next few months with appropriate restraint.
“We need to stop any unnecessary travel,” he said. “We need to stop any discretionary hiring, freeze the hiring. We need to freeze third-party work that is not essential to the course of government.”
Wall said priority will be given to construction projects, to keep pace with the province’s growth.